June 11, 2012

APA on Children Raised by Gay and Lesbian Parents

How do these children fare?

On the basis of a remarkably consistent body of research on lesbian and gay parents and their children, the American Psychological Association (APA) and other health professional and scientific organizations have concluded that there is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation. That is, lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children. This body of research has shown that the adjustment, development and psychological well-being of children are unrelated to parental sexual orientation and that the children of lesbian and gay parents are as likely as those of heterosexual parents to flourish.

In 2004, the APA Council of Representatives adopted a policy resolution including the following statement based on a review of the best available science:

  • There is no scientific evidence that parenting effectiveness is related to parental sexual orientation: lesbian and gay parents are as likely as heterosexual parents to provide supportive and healthy environments for their children (Patterson, 2000, 2004; Perrin, 2002; Tasker, 1999); See the full resolution on the Sexual Orientation, Parents, & Children webpage.

APA has continued to monitor the research since 2004 and report that research in our amicus briefs, such as in the Gill vs. OPM case. On the basis of the research, APA continues to oppose any discrimination based on sexual orientation in matters of adoption, child custody and visitation, foster care, and reproductive health services.